musings from boston

screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Tag: ONCE Ballroom

Jaggery Takes Us to the Crux of the Matter

CREDIT: Matt Samolis

CREDIT: Matt Samolis

It’s a last-gasp attempt to be timely, to be sure, but I feel I must mark the occasion. A favorite Boston band — no, let’s call them a musical art ensemble — by the name of Jaggery is officially releasing a new album today. It’s called Crux. This evening, they’ll be hosting their record release party at ONCE Ballroom at Cuisine en Locale, with what will most certainly be a stunning performance by this wonderful group of musicians. Because, truth be told, I have yet to see a performance by them that isn’t stunning. And that includes the one at the dearly departed Church, which was done in darkness with people shining their smartphones onto the stage when the club suddenly lost power.

I’m listening to Crux as I write this. Beginning with Singer Mali’s ‘War Cry,’ like an eagle warning the planet of imminent catastrophe, the album embarks on a mysterious journey through jungles and tropical rain forests, deserts and savannas, open tundra and grasslands. Such is the breadth and depth of these musical passages, like unique, self-contained acts of a life-long, epic musical. I’m quite used to Mali’s playful, threatening, taunting and soaring vocals being jaw-dropping, but she has reached new heights (and depths) here. It’s the voice of a million colors.

The musical accompaniment provided by Mali’s exquisite piano and her insanely talented mini-orchestra – Daniel Schubmehl (drums, percussion), Tony Leva (upright bass), Rachel Jayson (viola), Dylan Jack (drums, percussion) and Petaluma Vale (harp, vocals) – is downright kaleidoscopic, begging for a thousand dancers to be flinging themselves around, under and over each other on a vast Broadway stage.

In this incomprehensible world we now find ourselves in, with so much discordant noise and nonsense all around, there are thankfully those extremely rare occasions of brilliance. Think of it as a tiny glistening diamond in a sea of shit. A sensible and sophisticated environment in endless rows of tacky used car lots and strip malls. And for that moment, as we behold that impossibly perfect gemstone forged from the chaos that surrounds it, against all odds, we are simultaneously taken out of ourselves and back into our center.

And that’s the crux of the matter.


video filmed by SKMDC777

Tour Dates

04/29 Somerville, MA – ONCE Ballroom – album release party
06/21 Kingston, NY – BSP Lounge
06/22 Philadelphia, PA – TBA
06/23 Baltimore, MD – The Crown
06/24 Washington, DC – 16th Street House
06/25 Reidsville, NC – Brad & Tammy’s Listening Loft
06/27 Indianapolis, IN – 10 Johnson Avenue
06/28 Chicago, IL – Martyr’s
06/29 Detroit, MI – TBA
06/30 Toronto, ON – Transaz Club, Southern Cross Room
07/01 Buffalo, NY – Hickory Sanctuary
07/02 TBA
07/03 New York, NY – TBA

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Looking For New Year’s Eve Festivities? First Night Boston, Andrew W.K., Hallelujah The Hills and a NYE Celebration @ ONCE!

Holy crap, it’s the end of the year already!? If you’re like me and the closing of this crazy year has caught you flat-footed, you might appreciate a few suggestions of how to regain your equilibrium and get 2016 started off in grand style. We’re taking a little break from introducing you to new bands to check in with a few old friends and see what they’re up to on New Year’s Eve.

First Night Boston is alive and well, and though stripped down from its former self, it’s now completely free! This family-friendly event actually begins at noon on New Year’s Eve and runs through the next day. Check out the schedule. Even if you have NYE plans, you still have time to catch the annual “People’s Procession” that moves from Copley Square to Boston Common, culminating in everyone’s favorite early-bird “Family Fireworks” right on the Common.

If you don’t have plans for later in the evening, there are some cool events happening in the Boston area. The few things I’ve caught wind of in the midst of my mad work mode are Hallelujah The Hills at Great Scott, the inimitable Andrew W.K. at the Paradise (performing I Get Wet in its entirety, certain to be a wild and woolly adventure) and something that especially caught my eye — an evening of four top-shelf bands at ONCE Ballroom (Cuisine en Locale).

Cuisine en Local, if you haven’t been there, is an extremely cool caterers featuring locally sourced food. In addition to top-notch catering and meal delivery, they also opened their ONCE ballroom, which is a really nice function hall with a lounge upstairs that overlooks it. This is a prime location for concerts, and they’ll be celebrating their 10th anniversary with a huge blow out on New Year’s Eve. It’s a tremendous lineup featuring Eastern European Gypsy Party Punk band Somerville Symphony Orkestar, Ruby Rose Fox, Cask Mouse and Cactus Attack. I’ve had the great pleasure of seeing the Orkestar and Cask Mouse over the years, and I can attest to the fact that these are top tier bands. The others sound great as well, so if you’re a local music aficionado, this looks like the place to be.

If that’s not enough to entice you, ONCE will be designing a special menu of munchies centered around “traditional local foods” and tickets will include a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. So ::: purchase tickets now ::: and you’ll have a warm, cozy and fiddling place to ring in the New Year with great, festive music!

Cactus Attack | Cask Mouse | Ruby Rose Fox | Somerville Symphony Orkestar | Cuisine en Locale | New Year’s Eve Facebook Event | ::: TICKETS! :::

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